There are two main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes – People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 10% of people with diabetes have Type 1.
- Causes: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing beta cells. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.
- Treatment: Type 1 diabetes is treated by multiple daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.
- Type 2 diabetes – People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). About 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2.
- Causes: People might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or obese. Type 2 diabetes starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before people realise they have it.
- Treatment: Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.